Home-cooked RGB-LED Shields

Here’s something I whipped up Friday: a tasty duo of home-cooked, hand soldered RGB-LED shields. They fit onto the Freakduino boards but also Arduino and can produce light in all colors. The shields will be covered by a semitransparent material so the light output will be even.

Not the most complicated circuit 🙂 but I needed them to replace state of the art LCD screen shields, that unfortunately used pins that the board also used. Fingers crossed it will work this time.

If you want to make this yourself, here is some info on the circuit.

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Value Laddering

Last week I got this paper from dr. Tilde Bekker about Value Laddering. Value laddering is a technique to interview users about their experience with a product, based on following through on answers by asking ‘why’ several times. This site also has a pretty thorough description of the process.

Hopefully I can finish the GUI and prototype this week, so I’ll have time to evaluate my concept with users. It would be great to use the Value Laddering technique for this. I need to find out how to do it exactly and write a plan!

Freaklabs Service & Deadline Management

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Freakduino boards I had ordered for building my prototype. First I had some problems with combining the code for the LCD shields with the Zigbee radio function on the boards. It turned out they used some of the same pins, so now I’ve built my own RGB-Led shields. I’m getting quite good at soldering this way!

Only this week I found out that one of the Freakduino boards was faulty, when I tried to use both of them at the same time. But I have to say: WOW great customer service from Freaklabs! I emailed them about the issue, and they immediately concluded there must be something wrong with the board, and they are sending TWO new replacement boards! Very, very nice indeed.

Now I’m still biting my nails as the deadlines for this project are so close, but luckily I managed to push the first one back two weeks. So one week from now: exhibition; the week after: report. I just hope I will have time for one more user test before the exhibition. Wish me luck!

User Evaluation Serendipity

A nice bit of unofficial user research just thrown into my lap. A few days ago, I created an automatic photo blog to store the pictures from the LightScribe App prototype. I put a few existing pictures on it to test the setup. I was very surprised when it started raining ‘likes’! Hint: go to the bottom of the post and click on the star 🙂

At first it was just nice to feel appreciated, but then I decided to check out which picture had the most likes. And it turned out to be exactly the one I had already chosen to be the basis of my GUI design! So have a look and see if you agree.

Automatic Photoblog: test 3

In order to not keep bothering you with each and every picture I take, I created a new blog especially for the purpose of automatic photo blogging:

lightscribeblog.wordpress.com

Stop by some time!

Automatic Photoblog: test 2

Aha. Now I’ve set up a nice little Automator sequence, but it appears that when I remove a picture from that folder, it mails an empty blog post. I really need to insert a bit that stops the actions if there are no files. Luckily I found this great little download that’s aptly called ‘Stop if Input is Empty’

Now my workflow looks like this:

Combined with the Eye-Fi SD card in my camera (read about it in this post), it really should be snap and post in one go!

Automatic Photoblog: test 1

So this is me trying to set up a feature where I can automatically post pictures to my blog. When my LightScribe prototype will be finished, I can use this to keep track of the results made with the prototype.

Step 1: Post by email.